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Cricket Words Mid-Mortem

08-16-2012, 07:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 99
Nobody has said it directly, but I think the name doesn't work... Not for a large audience anyway IMO. I play darts, I get it - but when I saw this post I thought "what about cricket words? Stumps? Pads? Lbw?"

I hate the sport cricket, but like word games - but I would have overlooked this game in the store due to the name. Plus I would imagine a small(er) % of people will even know or care about the cricket scoring method.

Honestly, I'd consider a name change.
08-16-2012, 07:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 68
Honestly, I'd consider a name change.
Ditto. I would go further and develop a theme for your game. Like 'Jungle Words', 'Hero Words' (superheros), or maybe something more generic/casual friendly like 'Word Heaven'.

Then work that theme into the gameplay somehow. Use the same rules from Cricket, but instead of X's on a board they're 'hero medals', or 'jungle bananas' or some such thing. Everything should emphasize your USPs, so I'd start with that and develop a theme that fits.

08-16-2012, 10:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Hey JPP,

I've been following ya for a while on twitter and checking in. Hope you guys are doing good. Hadn't really played the game since I didn't have an iphone. Recently got one. I actually really liked the game, but it did take me a while to understand what was going on. I'm not going to lie, if I didn't know you, I probably wouldn't have kept playing it. I just wanted to figure it out so that I'd understand what you were talking about.

I have no idea what Cricket in darts is so I think these suggestions are actually really good about re-branding. Love the idea of keeping the scoring, but changing the graphics to be something that everyone who likes word games can relate to. I also love the idea of playing up the unique ways that your game is better than an already popular game. I think that will really get somewhere with people who like to play word games anyways.

Not sure how much work all that is, but I know it would help lay men like me to understand what is going on a lot faster.

These guys have made some great suggestions so far. Hope all is well!!
08-17-2012, 06:19 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 20
Sorry, haven't been able to figure out how to multi quote, the icon just changes color and nothing happens.

Originally Posted by jeremy.provost View Post
I hate to keep going back to this, but do you feel like Words with Friends looks a lot better based on their screenshots in the Store? I guess they do the thing where the screenshots aren't purely screenshots but incorporate informational stuff. I don't disagree with your point, though. Do you have any suggestions on how to make the screenshots better without actually changing the game? Or is the suggestion basically just "your UI is dull so you need to change everything"? No offense taken, just honestly trying to narrow it down.

Yes, friends with words is much more inviting, cause of the color scheme and rounded corners of the graphic. About your UI, your whole app philosophy seem to lean more towards the "functional is good enough" side. Changing color scheme, and a bit more rounded graphics as you had in your second revision would be more appealing.

Interesting point. Again, it seems like there are some very successful word games out there that don't do this sort of thing. Words with Friends for one. SpellTower is another that comes to mind. I actually think SpellTower is a very nice looking game but it doesn't have this sort of stuff.

About particle FX / visual feedback, the reason I wrote it, is to make your app stand out. Obviously, don't use it all the time, but once a word has been correctly submitted, if you manage to get bonuses within words etc. By giving constant user feedback it encourages the player and it becomes more fun.

Our problem is that we always kept delaying. We could always convince ourselves to wait one more version and then one more version. Does anyone have experience in advertising in Words with Friends? If we're going to do it we really want to put our money somewhere that it'll find us a very specific audience that matches our prospective audience.

Zynga spends enormous amount of money on marketing so I wouldn't try their way. I would try to market it here on TouchArcade, and other ios/handheld websites, then find some newspapers/magazines that is catered towards people who read a lot. This all depends on your budget of course, but one gotta start somewhere

Thanks a lot for taking the time to leave this feedback.
As a final thing, about your icon, as I've never heard of cricket style word game before, I always though of a cricket (the insect) lol, so I would have a small cricket that is just hitting (batting?) some letters towards the "screen". But that would mean that you might have to change your UI some more to make it fit the icon. (Adding the cricket to the main menu etc.)
08-17-2012, 06:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 197
I agree, I think that your major challenge is communicating what your game is about. I used to have a dartboard as a kid and on the back side, it had a baseball game of sorts. I'm assuming that Cricket Darts is similar to that. One of your issues is that not all countries play cricket. The US and Japan play baseball and most people there aren't familiar with the rules of cricket. May want to keep that in mind for the tutorial. I think classic darts would have carried over better to other countries.

Imagine if you will if I made an American Football Hopscotch game. Its like Hopscotch but played to the rules of American Football. Right there I'm assuming that my audience knows something of American Football. You see the potential problems launching in any country other than America. It might be an excellent concept in practice but I'm going to need good marketing and tutorials to overcome the obvious hurdles.

Oh and how about "Words with Darts" People would get that or at least it would make them curious.
08-20-2012, 08:51 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
Originally Posted by pbb76 View Post
Nobody has said it directly, but I think the name doesn't work... Not for a large audience anyway IMO.
We originally had more of an emphasis on the darts but have gone away from that basically for this reason. For instance, one original version of the icon had a bullseye and dart on it. The first released version had dart board-style cork for the spots where your letters would go. We moved away from this because we recognized that the cricket aspect wasn't winning us any followers. For those that know cricket it doesn't really make the game easier to understand. For those that don't know cricket it's just confusing.

That all being said, I imagine it being quite an undertaking to make that big of a change at this point. Something we'll need to consider carefully.
08-20-2012, 09:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
Something else I mentioned in my original post but which I haven't heard any responses is using a game publisher.

Timely, I read this article today:


  • Have you ever used a publisher to publish one of your games? If so, how was that experience? Is it something you would do again?
  • Is this type of game even something publishers would even be interested in?
  • Do publishers ever work with games that have already been launched?
08-20-2012, 10:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 68
That all being said, I imagine it being quite an undertaking to make that big of a change at this point. Something we'll need to consider carefully.
Just create a single image of a character as the mascot of your game. Use the character's face as your icon, and use the larger image throughout the game, and in your promotional items. Then change the name of your game to reflect the character somehow. It would set you back 20-50 usd, depending on the artist, and a couple days time. Once your sales start going up you can gradually improve the rest of the gui and presentation.

Have you ever used a publisher to publish one of your games? If so, how was that experience? Is it something you would do again?
Is this type of game even something publishers would even be interested in?
Do publishers ever work with games that have already been launched?
I'll weigh in on this one. We haven't used publishers before ourselves, but several of our clients have, and so far I've only heard negative things about them.

Both your team and publishers have a seemingly similar goal - sell games and reach as wide an audience as possible. However, you want to sell YOUR game, whereas publishers want to sell ANY game.

Publishers will seek out games that look promising (often on this thread), and contact them about publishing their game. This basically means trading consulting and marketing for a good chunk of the profits.

A few reasons why this isn't always a good deal:
1. If sales are subpar, they'll leave your product for others that sell better, instead of trying to fix it. That makes business sense for them, but not for you. Even small games are a huge investment of your time and money, so you should be leading the process.

2. There's cheaper (and better) ways to get consulting and marketing. The suggestions you get on this forum will be the same types of 'suggestions' you'll get from a publisher. (they'll just be more forceful about it) If you partner with an experienced visual developer they'll be committed to helping craft your game into a sellable product, since obviously if none of their clients sold games they'd be out of business. You can do cross promotion with other indie developers, or go 'blue ocean' and find ways to target nonplayers that might be interested in word games. (crossword puzzle sites? work from home mom sites?)

3. Generally publishers won't be interested unless you're well on your way to success, in which case you don't really need them anyway.

Working with publishers may be great for some people, and I'm sure there's publishers on this board that could give a great rebuttal to some of my points. In any case, nobody is going to be as passionate about your game as you. Even if you do work with a publisher, use it to leverage the creative talent of your own team, instead of just handing them the reigns to 'fix' your sales.
08-22-2012, 03:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 94
I figured why not keep sharing. This past month was just as disappointing. No changes there. Here are the latest stats:

  • New Players: 100
  • iAd: 11.81
  • AdMob: 1.00
  • LinkShare: 1.10
  • In-Apps: 1.40
  • Total: 15.31

Things seemed to have really leveled out. Actually, since making the change to the app description (removing the two quotes from reviews) our downloads have gone down. In the 8 days since that change we've only had 21 downloads (and I imagine some of that is from folks here). The 8 days prior to that change we had 41 (still pathetic, but better). Sad to say, but I'm wondering if I should add those back in and see if that changes anything.

In any case, we still have lots of good changes planned based on suggestions we've received here. So thanks again.
08-22-2012, 08:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 5
1. The icon is not that impressive when I find it on AppStore.
2. I got several poped boxes with options when I play the game for the first time. It is a little strange. I have no idea what to do next.
3. UI seems quite nice. I like it a lot.
4. I wonder if there could be some hints when playing. I am not quite good at words games. I would be very frustrated when I failed several times.

I am quite a newcomer here. I hope my feedback could be of a little help.